Taxes 2018-01-18T14:31:11+00:00


Taxes can seem complicated at best to many people, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of resources that can help you figure out your taxes, and even some places right here in Whatcom County that will give you free help preparing your return.

Free Tax Preparation in Whatcom County

If You Need Help Filing Your Taxes

Does your household make less than $54,000/year? If so, you can get free assistance filing your taxes at the Opportunity Council.

Call 360-734-5121 ext. 241 to schedule your appointment.

1111 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225

By appointment only, call 360-734-5121 ext. 241

Dates: January 29 – July 15

Closed February 19

Free parking available

East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

8251 Kendall Rd., Maple Falls, WA 98266

Walk-in or appointment, call 360-734-5121 ext. 241

Thursday, March 22

8:30AM – 10:30AM

Saturday, February 10 and April 14

10:30AM – 12:30PM

If You Need a Preparer to File for You

AARP Tax Aide Sites provide free basic and limited complex income tax return preparation with electronic filing to all individuals, including past year returns.

2401 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225

Walk-in only

Dates: January 27 – April 17

Monday through Thursday 3:30PM – 6:30PM (Doors open at 2:45PM)

Saturdays 12:30PM – 4:00PM (Doors open at 11:45AM)

Free parking – Enter main entrance at back of church off Logan St.

Disabled entrance and parking are off Morris St. and Cornwall Ave.

315 Halleck St., Bellingham, WA 98225

By appointment only, call 360-733-4030

Dates: February 2 – April 13

Tuesdays 9:00AM – 3:00PM

Fridays 9:00AM – 3:00PM

VITA Tax Sites provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to households making less than $66,000/year. More information on 2018 tax sites coming soon!

516 High St., Bellingham, WA 98225

Parks Hall, Room 336

Walk-in only

Dates: February 5 – April 17

Monday through Wednesday 4:30PM – 8:30PM

Closed February 19 and March 15 – April 2

Free parking in WWU’s C lots after 4:30PM on weekdays

237 W Kellogg Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226

Heiner Library Classroom #201B

Walk-in only

Dates: February 13 – April 17

Mondays 5:00PM – 8:00PM

Fridays 10:00AM – 12:00PM, 1:00PM – 3:00PM

Closed February 19 and March 24 – April 2

Important Tax Dates

November 1, 2017
Open enrollment (Health Care) starts.

December 15, 2017
Open enrollment (Health Care) ends for January 1, 2018 coverage.

January 15, 2018
Open enrollment ends for February 1, 2018 coverage.

January 29, 2018
IRS begins accepting electronic returns.

January 31, 2018
Companies must mail W-2 forms by this date.

February 16, 2018
Financial institutions must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S, and 1099 MISC forms.

February 29, 2018
Farmers and fishermen with a balance due on their taxes must file their tax returns and pay the balance by this deadline to avoid late-fees.

April 17, 2018
Deadline to submit your individual tax returns for 2017. If you are behind on your taxes, this is also the last day to file an amended tax return.

October 17, 2018
For those that filed an extension, October 17 is the deadline to file your individual return.

Tax Checklist

Click or tap the image to open.

With a little preparation, doing your taxes doesn’t have to be a difficult process. This guide contains helpful information to get you started. You may want to get a folder or other container to put these documents in as you cross them off the list.

Important Tax Credits

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
If you work and have a low to moderate income, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you qualify, the credit could lower the amount of tax you owe the government, or give you a larger refund. To qualify, you have to meet a list of requirements, and have to file a tax return with the IRS, even if you don’t owe taxes for the year.

Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)
The Additional Child Tax Credit can lower your tax burden even more, and can result in you getting a better refund. You don’t have to have more than one child to qualify for the ACTC. As long as the amount of tax you owe is less than the amount of the Child Tax Credit (up to $1,000  per child), you might qualify for this additional credit. While the Child Tax Credit isn’t refundable (say you owe $600, and the credit is worth $1,000 – you would just owe nothing, but wouldn’t get $400 in a tax return), the Additional Child Tax Credit can put some of that money back in your pocket.